Saturday, May 22, 2010

Renovate of Sell As-Is

Oftentimes, sellers are faced with a difficult situation – whether they should renovate their home before selling or put it on the market as a fixer-upper. With interest rates low and many people looking for a value deal, currently it makes more sense to do the latter. However, the decision is often not as clear-cut.

Since the real estate market recently took a dive, contractor fees are also lower. In fact, renovating an apartment right now will cost roughly 25-30% less than peak costs. Ironically, the reason for such a decrease in renovation costs is a loss of demand. Sellers are more inclined to sell their homes as-is and as a result, very few of them are renovating. As there is a decrease in demand, renovation costs drop. Thus, for a relatively small expense you place your listing into a more competitive position.

In some cases, renovation will not have the desired result. As I stated before, with the market on a downturn, buyers are looking to get a deal. Remember, all renovations will happen according to your personal taste, which might not agree with some buyers. A number of buyers view un-renovated apartments as a chance to make a deal and later renovate the apartment to their personal taste.

As the seller, you must also consider the demographic that will be looking at your apartment. If you are selling a one-bedroom or a studio, you will likely be selling to single, first-time, buyers. Those types of buyers will likely want to move in right away and will not want to spend time renovating. Thus, if you are selling a one bedroom or a studio, it might make sense to renovate it before listing it.

On the other hand, if you are selling a 2, 3 or 4 bedroom, the likely buyers will be families. A family will not feel the need to move in right away, and even if they do they will have ample time to renovate their new home. Keep in mind that families often come with kids and thus must have concrete plans about moving before uprooting themselves. It is likely they will accept to move into an un-renovated home and then make the necessary renovations over time. Be certain to understand your competition and position your listing accordingly, but as a guideline, if you are selling to a family-oriented demographic, it makes sense to leave the home as-is.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Comfortable Cushion

As a seller you undoubtedly need to be aware of some market psychology. The buyer will never agree to pay full asking price (currently only 3% of all listings are being sold at or above list price), especially not in this value-driven economy. This applies to all facets of consumer economies, but is most prevalent in real estate. By now, buyers have become so accustomed to getting deals on purchases they simply refuse to pay full-price. Additionally, buyers detest seeing the seller as having full control of the transaction.

What is the answer to this conundrum? Overprice your property. While this may sound immoral and unethical, it is really the only way to come out on top in a real estate transaction. Leave a comfortable margin around the price so the buyer feels as if his negotiation efforts are coming to fruition.

By elevating your asking price, you are effectively killing two birds with one stone. You are assuring you will get the offer you want and you are making the buyer feel comfortable in the transaction. You sell your property at the price it deserves and the buyer walks away feeling like he saved money on a great deal; everyone is happy.

Remember though, the key to selling quickly is to make sure you know the true value of your property so you can adjust the price “slightly” higher. It is also a good idea to round your price to a value readily searched on the internet. For example – if you are a 2 bedroom listed at $975K, round to $999,500 so every 2 bedroom buyer looking under $1M will be looking at your listing first.

Another key element of a good market strategy is if the seller has not received an offer in 30-45 days its better to adjust the price down to reflect the current market. Our records indicate the current time a sales listing is on the market is 112 days from list to contract, where the number drops dramatically to 77 with a price reduction. The price reduction will also give the buyer a sense of comfort because they believe the seller is getting less than what they originally wanted. Be flexible and willing to adjust the price accordingly; working with a specific game plan in mind from the start and you will find the right buyer.

Friday, May 7, 2010

One Jackson Square

Perhaps you have stumbled upon this magnificent new development on the corner of West 13th Street and 8th Avenue. That is
One Jackson Square. It is an extraordinary building. Rising a mere 11 stories, it nevertheless gives its inhabitants a magical view of midtown and uptown. While all of the apartments are incredibly impressive, the penthouse tops all - literally and figuratively. With 1690 square feet of outdoor space and an overall area of 5530 square feet, the penthouse is enormous. Beautifully arranged and furnished, this penthouse is state-of the art living quarters fit for a modern king or queen. The glass windows covering the entire two floors afford the inhabitant an irresistible view of the city and the outdoor terrace is equipped with a separate outdoor kitchen and patio. No description can do it full justice, one must see it to believe it.